By Andrew Glover
PERRY, Okla. —
PERRY — After the Perry Lady Maroons finished second at the Class 4A state tennis tournament, they are taking time to prepare the future with a two-day camp at the Leo Park Tennis Courts.
“We show them from the ground up,” Perry girls coach Jeff Sullins said. “We show the beginners how to hold their racket. Some of the high schoolers, don’t need the beginners’ stuff.”
Seventeen showed up, ranging from 10-years-old to high school seniors. Sullins said that’s pretty good numbers.
“Most of our kids are high school from Perry,” Sullins said. “We got some people from Enid and a couple from Guthrie.”
It wasn’t just Sullins and the boys tennis coach Bryan Hall leading the camp. Cowley College coach Josh Cobble also helped coach campers. Cobble said Sullins has sent several kids to his camp in Arkansas City, Kan.
“I’ve seen (Sullins) at tournaments and he brought kids up to camp the last couple years,” Cobble said. “I got Lauryn (Sullins) to come play for me. ... It allows Cowley to come down and be in the area and grow tennis in the (Perry) area.”
Cobble said helping with the camp, gets his program some recognition.
“Anytime we can be around, I try to do it,” Cobble said. “We got a good group of kids here that want to work hard. They are here on a day they could be out at the pool.”
Perry graduate Sullins was awarded a scholarship to Cowley and said it was neat to see her new coach come out.
“I went to (Cobble’s) camp for two years and it helped me a lot,” Sullins said. “I think it helped me do this well this year. I’m really glad that the (Perry) freshmen are getting to work with him right now because that will really help next year.”
The Perry graduate finished 30-1 in her senior season and finished second at state in number one singles. Sullins helped teach the younger kids at camp.
“My dad has taught me in a good way to teach people starting out,” Sullins said. “I feel like the way I play is really good for beginners. I think it’s a good start for them.”
Coach Sullins said it’s great seeing his daughter teach others about the sport.
“She knows a lot but is a little shy in teaching it,” Sullins said. “She’s played a lot of tennis and knows a lot and can definitely teach the younger kids. It’s nice having her out here.”
The girls coach said the camp is also helping him prepare for next season as he will be trying to replace three state qualifiers — Sullins, Emily Brown and Marrisa Wright.
“I’ve got 10 of my girls team for next year,” coach Sullins said. “Several of them are freshmen that I haven’t gotten to coach. I definitely get a chance to see what I have next year and the ones after that.”